Energy required to turn seawater into drinking water
July 27, 2011 2:30 AM Subscribe
Assuming an island with its own supply of power via generator and/or solar power, how much electricity is consumed to turn N liters of sea water into potable drinking water?
posted by thewalrus to technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My question is as follows. Imagine you have an island such as one of the smaller San Juan islands in Puget sound (the ones where 100% of the land is privately owned and there is no regular ferry service). On this island is a house with a very large off grid solar setup capable of producing 3500 to 5000 kWh per month in mid summer.
For the purpose of this question, the argument has no reliable fresh water supply other than what can be captured from rain and run through filters.
Using a reverse osmosis process how much energy is required to desalinate seawater to turn it into drinking water? Specifically, how much energy (in watts) at a point in time to run a small reverse osmosis plant that produces N liters per hour, and if you want to produce X liters per month, how many kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity will that consume in one month?